Saw a SW from LA three weeks ago..also saw a SW from an IFA. IFA SW was very nice and seemed very thorough with her questions to me and my husband. I felt quite overwhelmed with the amount of questions and how in depth they were for an initial visit. She rang me a couple of days later to say she was happy to proceed with our application but i told her i needed longer to decide. Two days later we saw LA sw for an initial visit. My husband was intending to be there for the visit but had an emergency (due to the forecast snow he had to pick up our son from his ballet school over 150 miles away). He said a brief hello to SW. My other son was due in from his special school(he has mild autism) and the phone rang when my son was coming through the door. My husbands friend also decided to arrive with his miniature poodle to show me his dogs new haircut. The phone call was my sons special school teacher just giving me an update about his behaviour that day. We get regular updates every month. My son had been a bit naughty at school ...nothing serious just a bit of attitude so the teacher wanted to discuss it..this call took 15 minutes whilst sw was sitting listening to everything. I will be honest it had turned into one of those days when you wish you could just go back to bed and start the day over again. Looking back on it i think I coped very well with everything that was going on and SW seemed pleased when she left. We got the form back today with the outcome of the initial meeting typed up. She has concerns that I have a son with autism and that he has high level of need and will have for the foreseeable future. Well that is what her opinion was but my son is actually improved so much over the past 3 years and his school would agree that he is one of the best behaved pupils now and very helpful to staff. He is mildly autistic but he has some behavioural problems that he is controlling very well. His twin brother who is at ballet school is also autistic and manages very well on a scholarship living away from home to pursue his dream of being a dancer. My sons are twins and are 13 years old. I have an older son who is 20 years old and he lives independently away from home . He also has autism. He is starting an apprenticeship with the local council soon. He has spent three years at college getting NVQ's 1 and 2 in childcare. I don't think Ive done a bad job raising my sons and i have given them every opportunity to succeed. I have never let the label of autism hold them back in the pursuit of their dreams and aspirations. I feel i have so much to give to another child with problems or a disability and a big double bedroom spare ( my twins have a single room each). I am willing to take any age group although more interested in over 5's. My husband is at home as he receives carers allowance for our son and i would be the main carer for the fc. I am a stay at home mum. In effect we just have one son at home full time and other twin visiting at holidays so the house feels empty and quiet (apart form the day the LA SW came)
I don't know what to do ..whether to give up the idea of fostering. My LA SW is coming next week to have a word and pick up our signed form but she said on phone today that she wouldn't recommend us to move forward because of son at home with autism and his needs. Do I forget the whole thing and look for a full time job outside of home (I used to be a full time civil servant). I need to return to work if I am not pursuing fostering as we are on income support right now and moving onto job seekers allowance with me as the claimant. I just wanted to look into the possibility of fostering before I took on the commitment of a full time job . I did try to enquire with LA over a year ago but I was a smoker then and our LA dont allow smokers to foster children of any age in our area. I have since given up smoking. Any input or help would be appreciated. I think I need another prespective on the situation. thanks
Hi, just wanted to say in your position I would be very tempted to go with the IFA. From what you say you have a lot to offer and a lot of experience and it would be a shame to not pursue this. Would the LA offer you a chance to discuss further? I foster for a LA and wouldn't consider an IFA but ours is very supportive. Also as there will be 2 carers available it sounds as though it should be manageable even when both boys are home. Good luck
Hi, I too have three boys on the austism spectrum (like you including twins!), and have also been successfully fostering for several years with our local LA. I too have many days like you describe, and as I am sure you do too, a lot worse. You can guarntee those days will come during a SW visit! I sometimes think they believe we are all completely crazy with the things that interupt our meetings! Thankfully though they have always supported our wish to foster, and feel as we do that the huge amount of experience we have had with our own sons, has helped us to help any children we have fostered. I am not sure I could have understood properly many of the problems faced by the young people in care had I not gone through the experience of raising children with special needs, and faced the often unhelpful health and education services along the way. I also think it gives you an added strength and knowledge that otherwise I would not have had. My advice would be if you really believe that now is the right time for you to become foster carers, and from what you say it sounds like you it is, then I would encourage you to go for it. If the LA cannot see that too, then I guess it's either a neighbouring LA who see things differently, or the IFA. Please don't let the opinion of one SW put you off if you know you have so much to give. I wish you luck whatever you decide, and please feel free to message me privately when I can obviously say a lot more! Best wishes!